UK railway news round-up
Air Marshal Sir Richard Frank Garwood has been appointed as the first non-executive Chairman of the Tri-Branch Management Board, formed to optimise coordination between the Department for Transport‘s air, marine and rail accident investigation branches. He was Director General of the Military Aviation Authority in 2013-15 and Director General of the Defence Safety Authority in 2015-17.
Network Rail has 'significantly changed' its plans for a sleeper factory in Bescot following feedback from local people. Changes include relocating the facility eastward to be further away from houses, and building a link road that will take traffic to the facility directly from the A4031. A further round of engagement will take place ahead of a formal planning application to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in 2019. 'This is a vital facility for the rail industry but we want to do all we can to deliver it with the least impact on the surrounding area', said Supply Chain Operations Director Rob Morton.
Greater Anglia has appointed creative agency Atomic to undertake a 'brand relaunch' as the operator replaces its entire fleet. 'We’re looking forward to starting work immediately with Atomic to create engaging, emotive and informative marketing to help the people of East Anglia and London get the most out of the railway', said Commercial & Customer Service Director Martin Moran.
Following a pre-appointment hearing on November 5, the Transport Select Committee has endorsed the Secretary of State for Transport’s choice of Declan Collier as Chair of the Office of Rail & Road. This is the only role subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the Committee, which has called for posts such as the chairs of Network Rail and HS2 to be subject to similar hearings. The committee said the former chief executive of London City Airport would face a ‘sharp learning curve’, and should commit to spending more than two days a week in the role if required.
Jobseekers in Hull are being provided with free travel to interviews in a joint initiative by TransPennine Express and the Department of Work & Pensions. So far 113 tickets have been provided, and those people who secure jobs are also given free travel for the first month of their employment.
Network Rail has begun work on a £1·7m modernisation of Longbridge station, funded by Birmingham City Council. This includes creating a larger concourse area with new flooring, automatic doors, an accessible toilet and ticket counter, as well as providing a new station front, replacement glass, a new roof and canopy.
Great Western Railway has introduced 'fresh, new and more contemporary' uniforms for its station Customer Ambassadors. The uniforms are brighter than existing designs so that passengers can more easily spot staff on platforms, concourses and at ticket offices.
Solar-powered LED cats eyes have been installed on a walkway at Greater Anglia’s Thorpe-le-Soken station to provide a clear path for passengers. The project was funded by the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership which donated £6 800.
My Club Group has launched My Club Railway, a split ticketing portal using Raileasy software which can be customised for sports clubs which then receive a share of revenue. 'My Club offers no risk, no cost revenue opportunities that allows clubs to raise finance and let grassroots sport thrive', according to Chief Operating Officer Graham Anderson.
Airlabs filters are to be installed in JCDecaux advertising units at London Marylebone station to remove particulate matter and nitrogen oxides from the air. 'This exciting partnership with Airlabs, JC Decaux and BNP Paribas is a great opportunity for Chiltern Railways to continue to minimise our environmental impact and compliments the work we are doing to introduce hybrid trains to our network', said the train operator's managing Director Dave Penney. 'Chiltern Railways takes seriously its role in reducing pollution and we believe this technology from Airlabs will provide a better environment for our passengers, neighbours and staff'.
Formerly Head of Ground Handling, Strategy & Licencing at Heathrow Airport, Les Freer has been named Director of Heathrow Express Ltd with effect from November 1; he succeeds Fraser Brown who has become Retail Director for the airport operator. With the outsourcing of train services to Great Western Railway, Sophie Chapman becomes Head of Operations, having joined HEx from Eurostar as interim Head of Customer Service.
Mark Wild joined Crossrail Ltd on November 5, ahead of taking over from Simon Wright as Chief Executive from November 19. Nigel Holness has taken on the role of London Underground Managing Director, and is to become Deputy Chief Executive for Metro Trains Sydney ‘at a later date’.